By Jimmy Kariuki
The government has been urged to streamline the taxation regime further so as to give local manufacturers and multinational companies more incentives to manufacture in Kenya.
Speaking during the second edition of the Commercial Bank of Africa economic forum that focused on Taxation and how it impacts business, particularly in the manufacturing sector, the Kenya Associations of Manufactures (KAM) chair, Mrs Flora Mutahi said more monetary support is required to help boost the manufacturing industry.
“For us from a manufacturing point of view, we respect the government for realizing that it’s important for manufacturing to drive economic growth. If you look at any country that has ever grown one of the pillars has always been the manufacturing sector. That has been encouraging. We waited for the big four, we deliberated on it and now that we saw what has come out in the tax, out of the 460 billion only 0.2 per cent which is 4.68 billion came to manufacturing, so the intend is there, but the support, monetary is not there,” she said.
Jeremy Ngunze, the Chief Executive officer of CBA Kenya, also reiterated on the importance of having a vibrant manufacturing sector, saying Kenya’s continued growth and integration in the global economy should be based on the same.
“The reigning policy paradigm remains the big four agenda, It is in this context that we meet here to discus Kenya’s tax regime and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector as proposed in the Kenya budget 2018-2019” he added.
He also added that, “it is estimated that Kenya’s manufacturing sector directly employ more than 250,000 people and an additional 1.4 million people are employed through supply and distribution chain representing about 13 per cent of the country’s total employment.”
Kenya is currently leading her east African counterpart in youth unemployment at 22 per cent, higher than the 5.2 per cent, 4.0 per cent, 3.3 and 3.1 per cent of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi respectively, despite the country being listed as a growing middle income economy.